Report: Iran Murders Flight Attendant For Pro-Freedom Protest

Protests have been ongoing in Iran for the past 10 weeks, precipitated by a woman who was beaten and killed by authorities for ‘improperly’ wearing her hijab. To prevent citizens from seeing the protests, seeing them spread, and feeling confident in defying the regime, internet access in the country has been limited. Their Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, says these “riots” are in fact war perpetrated by foreign governments and dissidents.

Mahan Air flight attendant Sanz Keshavarz, who worked the Airbus A340, reportedly took part in protests and was killed by the government in response. The airline – which is said to work closely with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard – has been said to warn all of their employees who attended the woman’s funeral that they could be prosecuted.

All over Iran, women are standing up to Ali Khamenei and the oppressive regime in Iran.

One of the most important ideas in social change is that the outcome of a revolution is never predictable. That’s because people support a regime – until they don’t. And they don’t when (1) it becomes safe to reveal their true preferences (against the regime), which snowballs into (2) actual supporters of a regime abandoning it, and acting as though they’re supporters of a new reality.

This is the Timur Kuran idea in Private Truths, Public Lies, and Kuran notes that an “anti-regime uprising does not need a leader to succeed. Witness East Germany 1989, Romania 1989, and Egypt 2011. It suffices for the regime to split. Leaders can emerge as the regime collapses.” Perhaps Iran has gone too far now that they’re considering banning household pets?

Kuran notes that Turkish media are not able to cover protests in China and Iran, out of fear those protests might spread to oppose their own strongman Erdoğan. Chinese protests were triggered by Covid lockdowns, after people were left to die in a fire while held inside their apartment. Many of these anti-lockdown protesters are, ironically, wearing masks for reasons other than Covid. They make facial recognition more difficult.

China crushed Hong Kong protests but people all over the world are speaking up for freedom and against oppression.

(HT: @RobertiLax)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Wow. This one makes me regret my flight attendant joke yesterday…. 🙁

    My wife grew up under martial law. We in the West have no idea what life is like for many people throughout the world. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am truly thankful to have lived my life here.

  2. Gary,

    While I find this horrible we also need to recognize that the US can’t judge the entire world by our standards. We can certainly be repulsed but they have laws that must be followed. Much of the Arab world is very different from a legal and rights standpoint (chop off a hand for stealing in Saudi Arabia for example) and dissent is not tolerated. At some point, as you state, change will likely happen but to judge this for “murdering” her when she broke a rule (even if unjustified by Western standards) is an in appropriate way of stating this.

    Again, fine to be repulsed and avoid any travel or contact with countries that support this type of behavior but we also can’t tell sovereign nations what laws to implement and how to administer their justice system. The entire world doesn’t follow the US rules unfortunately.

  3. The niece, nephew and sister of Iran’s Supreme Leader are also opposed to the Iranian government. The Iranian soccer team got threatened into participating in singing the Iranian national anthem by Iranian officials in Qatar. It seems like Iran (and China too) have a growing mass of people who want to give the ultimate birdie to their political overlords.

    That some FAs are also being subject to extreme measures is unfortunately not to be unexpected from authoritarian regimes coming under popular pressure to liberalize and democratize.

  4. @retired gambler – ok, but just to note that Iran is not of the “arab world”. At all. Iranians are mainly persian, with other minorities (Azeri a big minority), and they do have a small arab minority near the border with Iraq. But, they’re not arab in any way. In fact, try telling an average Iranian that they’re “arab” and they will be offended to their core.

  5. Chinese posts on Twitter about protests in China are buried by porn from regime apologists. Twisted ultra-orthodox “religious” clerics would have a bit of trouble going down that road in public, but this unIslamic regime are perpetuating rapes and other sexual assaults in detention facilities, vans and other places.

  6. Tough for the US judge when it had a large group of domestic terrorist useful idiots try to overthrow the government a little while ago. It even was endorsed by a major political party. I bet you all know which one.

  7. How long People will suffer they are sure to hit the streets and protest in large numbers. The crowd will only swell. Khomeini regime should read the writing on the wall.

  8. Gary needs more balance in his geo-political analysis. How about mentioning “US Murdered Female Veteran Ashli Babbitt For Pro-Freedom Protest” for instance.

  9. If you say any laws that ban protest are illegitimate and violate human rights, you are right but how come you don’t apply it to Jan 6 protestors of government tyranny and Canadian Freedom Protestors? Where is your article on Ashli Babbit, a veteran, who was murdered by a Black police officer at the Capitol for being in a building unarmed doing nothing other than standing? This flight attendant broke the law of the publicly elected Iranian government by protesting the way she did. Of course laws which prohibit protest against government tyranny are invalid, abusive, and crimes in themselves but you don’t seem to say that when Canadian Freedom Protestors were arrested for protesting the same way Iranians are protesting in Iran.

    While we may not support the regime in Iran or the system like we don’t support the regime in the West and system, the leaders of Iran are probably telling the truth that Western intelligence agencies are fomenting these protests like they did with the Arab spring in Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, and Ukraine in 2014 where there was a western backed coup against a democratically elected President. The U.S. government complains about foreign interference but that’s what they do regularly.

  10. @Gino – you mean THIS Ashli Babbitt? – “…the mob attempted to break through the doors by striking them and breaking the glass with their hands, flagpoles, helmets, and other objects. Eventually, the three USCP officers positioned outside the doors were forced to evacuate. As members of the mob continued to strike the glass doors, Ms. Babbitt attempted to climb through one of the doors where glass was broken out. An officer inside the Speaker’s Lobby fired one round from his service pistol, striking Ms. Babbitt in the left shoulder…” You characterize that as murder? Not self-defense? Just curious as to why you seem to condone this…

  11. @Patrick

    The police officer who fired was in no danger and he was not protecting anyone in danger. It’s against police policy to shoot someone through a door or window when not in danger. Nothing warranted his actions. It’s murder plain and simple. When hundreds of people are congregated in a structure, that does not give the police the right to shoot people. Most of these freedom protestors in the Capitol building were let in by Capitol police. The actions of this police officer will not be forgotten. If the system in force ever changes, he may be arrested and charged with murder.

  12. what a disgusting act, a bunch of old religious men murder a young woman because she doesn’t agree with their edicts. One day the young in Iran will rise up and place these old men in Adult Care where they belong

  13. @John Dogas “freedom protestors”? Really? What is a “freedom protestor”?
    And can you please explain “… the the mob attempted to break through the doors by striking them and breaking the glass with their hands, flagpoles, helmets, and other objects…” Doesn’t sound like anyone was letting them in there at this point.

  14. @David Miller
    Nice try. You must’ve been totally brain dead during the prior administration when it comes to undermining The Constitution.

  15. @Gary, in the first sentence I presume you meant “…10 weeks”. This latest protest started 10 weeks ago.

  16. @Gary, I believe it would be widely appreciated if you could separate Iranian ‘regime’ from “Iran”. The same way that Biden Administration is not the USA (the country, people, culture, …), Iran regime is not Iran.

    This current article, for example, could be titled “Iran regime…”.

    Thank you.

  17. @MIAZiggy that did not happen. People were not put in holding cells with out representation by the board patrol in Texas. children were not separated from their parents ‘That was all made up by other news outlets Alternative facts from Fox show that they did not report it so it did not happen…..

    Oh wait Fox News is Just like Iran News.

  18. That this unIslamic regime perpetrating rapes in Iran also would murder a flight attendant for peacefully protesting shouldn’t be a surprise. It speaks to the nature of the regime.

  19. People are weird. Kinda like how democrats claim to be the party of the working class but ate actually the party of rich, white, educated people telling black people how to vote.

  20. I support the Iranian and Chinese governments. Their countries are in much better shape than the us or eu. They are the future.

  21. Maybe if the US and Britain hadn’t overthrown a freely elected leader in Iran in 1953 because he wanted to nationalize the oil companies, with the result that a dictator (the Shah) took over until 1979, we wouldn’t be having the problems with Iran we are having now.

  22. The us government has done the same to the Jan 6 protestors.

    The us can’t point fingers. They imprison their enemies as well.

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